Mental and behavioural disorders and COVID-19-associated death in older people

BJPsych Open. 2020 Sep 3;6(5):e101. doi: 10.1192/bjo.2020.87.


Health factors such as diabetes, severe obesity and chronic kidney disease are all associated with a more severe outcome following coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. However, there has been little exploration into the impact of mental and behavioural disorders on outcomes associated with COVID-19. We investigated outcomes for older people who used mental health services. Those who had a COVID-19-associated death had previously rated worse across a range of health and social problems, including mental health related problems. Our findings evidence the need to urgently explore whether mental and behavioural disorders should also be considered a health risk factor for a more severe outcome from COVID-19 infection in older people.

Keywords: COVID-19; Comorbidity; dementia; mortality; rating scales.